THE Amarok V6 diesel represents the first significant change to the Amarok since the eight-speed automatic four-cylinder models arrived in early 2012, around a year after the debut of the original four-cylinder manuals with their dual-range part-time 4x4.
The V6 comes with a beefed-up eight-speeder and at this stage is only available with a single-range full-time 4x4 system (with auto-proportioning and auto-locking centre ‘diff’) similar to that successfully employed (former 4X4 Ute of the Year winner) with the four-cylinder engine.
The V6 brings a significant jump in power (plus 48kW) and an extra 130Nm over the four-cylinder models, at a modest $3000 premium in Highline specification and $4000 in Ultimate spec.
Our test vehicle was the Ultimate. The cheaper Highline loses the heated leather 14-way adjustable seats and the paddle shifters. The Highline also gets 18- rather 19-inch alloys, a more basic sports bar and sidesteps, and 47kg payload hike (up to 911kg).
Leather and seat heating is optional on the Highline but not the 14-way adjustable seats. The test vehicle was fitted with an ‘off-road pack’ which brings AT tyres on 17s and deletes the sidesteps.
The winner of the coveted 4X4 of the Year award will be announced at the Australian Motoring Awards (AMAs) on February 1.
The AMAs, to be held at Crown Casino in Melbourne, will also present the WhichCar Style award, the MOTOR Performance Car of the Year and the Wheels Car of the Year awards.
2017’s strong field of 4X4OTY contenders includes: Haval H9, Holden Colorado, Holden Trailblazer, Mercedes-Benz G300, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Toyota Land Cruiser 79 Series and the Volkswagen Amarok V6.